Chelsea players booed off after draw with West Brom

Chelsea were booed off as James McClean equalised four minutes from time to hand West Brom a vital 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Interim manager, Guus Hiddink, had not ruled out the club’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, but the Dutchman surely will now know he has a steep mountain to climb.

With Everton at home on Saturday, this week provided a perfect opportunity to make up some ground on their rivals.

But once again they were masters of their own downfall and it means Hiddink has now won only one League game since taking over last month.

Both sides will have conflicting views of their performance in that they were both better in attack than defence.

Chelsea are certainly playing with a bit more confidence in the final third since  Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.

It is noticeable there are a lot more blue shirts attacking the opposition goal, rather than sitting back cautiously.

However the downside of that is the defence have far less protection and West Brom exploited it time and time again.

Chelsea came into the clash off the back of a five-match unbeaten run, while Hiddink boasted the admirable record of just one league defeat in 16 games, stretching back to 2009, when he was also given the role on a temporary basis.

The confidence stemming from that was clear at the outset as Chelsea passed the ball with aplomb as was shown when Diego Costa fired a shot just wide after 73 seconds.

Chelsea were rewarded for their more inventive play in the 20th minute when Branislav Ivanovic crossed for Cesar Azpilicueta to score his first-ever goal at Stamford Bridge.

But Chelsea’s porous back four has been their biggest weakness this season and once again they were their own worst enemies.

Pedro gave the ball away inside his own half and Craig Gardner simply ran on to the ball and smashed it into the bottom corner.

The fact it came just a minute after Costa fluffed a chance hopelessly wide didn’t help the mood inside the ground.

These two teams haven’t liked each other ever since Mourinho labelled them a ‘Mickey Mouse’ club following a 2-2 draw in 2013.

The fractured nature of the contest played directly into the visitors hands as Chelsea forgot to play the football that had looked so menacing in the first half hour.

Kenedy made an impact off the bench after the break and he helped Chelsea retake the lead out of the blue.

Willian crossed and in his desperation to prevent the Brazilian from scoring, Gareth McAuley put the ball into his own net.

But the home fans have seen their side concede soft goals on too many occasions this term to think the points were safe.

There was an air of inevitability when the ball deflected perfectly into McClean’s path with four minutes remaining to steer home.

It means Chelsea have drawn both their home games under Hiddink 2-2 and he will surely have to concentrate on the FA Cup and Champions League now.